I think we will look back on this trip in two parts… before London and after London. The week and a half we spent in London was a welcome break from the dismal weather that Europe had been throwing at us. Not that it was any less dismal in London – we just didn’t have to cycle or camp in it!
Amaya loves Jonny and Helen and had been busting at the seams to see them again. She also couldn’t wait to meet her new cousin, Henry. The other event Amaya was looking forward to was her much anticipated 2nd birthday – and it didn’t disappoint – there were presents, balloons, a trip to the London aquarium, and, best of all, a dog cake (the closest Amaya will ever come to owning a dog).
It was particularly nice to be in London without feeling obliged to do anything touristy. Our purpose was quite simply to spend time with Jonny and Helen and their little boy.
Helen summarised our stay nicely:
Becoming a mother for the first time has had it’s challenges, but having Mic, Shosh and Amaya to stay has been wonderful. Henry has changed so much over the time they have stayed with us; becoming more alert each day, sleeping for longer, feeding for longer and growing stronger. Watching Amaya interact with him is beautiful; she is inquisitive about his moods, how he moves, his expressions – especially his serious looks. At first she wasn’t sure what to make of him, but day by day she has grown more confident around him and loves to sit near him stroking his hair and talking to him. I think it is the start of a special bond between them, and even though there are many miles that separate them both when Amaya returns to Australia, I know that whenever they see each other, there will be new games and adventures to be had.
We are now in Belgium with my parents, Garry and Helen, enjoying amazing cycle paths, beer, chocolate and touring Flanders Field, the Western Front from WWI where too many people lost their lives in senseless bloody fighting.